Baker & McKenzie has become the first global firm to merge with a leading United Arab Emirates law firm after securing a tie up with Habib Al Mulla.
The merged UAE office will be known as Baker & McKenzie Habib Al Mulla and will advise clients on local and international law across its offices in Dubai and, if it receives regulatory approval, Abu Dhabi.
The team will be jointly led by Habib Al Mulla as chairman and co-managing partner, along with Borys Dackiw, managing partner of the Gulf region.
Habib Al Mulla has been operating in the UAE since 1984 and has a team of over 40 Arabic and internationally qualified lawyers across its offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
The merger brings the number of Bakers offices in the Gulf to five, and a total of 73 offices in 45 countries.
Chairman of Baker & McKenzie’s executive committee, Eduardo Leite said: ‘The combination with Habib Al Mulla cements our presence in the UAE as it once again experiences strong economic growth.’
Koen Vanhaerents, chair of Baker & McKenzie’s EMEA region, added: ‘We are committed to investing in high-growth markets, and the UAE has been among the fastest-growing economies in the world in recent years. GDP has more than doubled since 2006.’
Al Mulla was the architect of the Financial Free Zones legal framework, which led to the establishment of the Dubai International Financial Centre as the first Financial Free Zone in the UAE.